Drew Brees, Tom Brady highlight fantasy football quarterback class

Fantasy experts preach running backs first and even second. "Wait on the quarterback" is the mantra. But in a year when there's Adrian Peterson and then a lot of parity and question marks after him at RB, why pass on a QB who will get a sure 20-plus points every game? There are three QBs worth a first- or second-rounder in Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Brees & Brady, if healthy, are capable of carrying a fantasy team and they're probably safer picks than a RB or WR in the mid-to-late first round. 1. Drew Brees, Saints 2008: 5,069 YDS, 34 TD, 17 INT Over the last three seasons, Brees has passed for a minimum of 4,400 yards and has averaged 29 touchdowns. He nearly broke Dan Marino's single-season yardage record last year while turning unknowns such as WR Lance Moore into fantasy studs. While Brees may be without his starting LT Jammal Brown (sports hernia) for perhaps two months, he's a fantasy stud who will put up plenty of points with weapons all around him and Sean Payton calling the plays. 2. Tom Brady, Patriots 2008 (injured in Week 1): 76 YDS, 0 TD, 0 INT Brady's surgically repaired knee has held up fine in the preseason but his throwing shoulder got squished when Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth drove him into the turf on Friday. The ultra-secretive Patriots are calling it a "sore shoulder." Brady, who was seen stretching and rotating his arm repeatedly did not play in the second half and, did not talk to reporters after the game, so monitor him closely right up to start of your draft. If Brady is healthy - and early reports say he should  be fine - he could surpass Brees, especially since he hooked up twice with Randy Moss for touchdowns against Washington. 3. Peyton Manning, Colts 2008: 4,002 YDS, 27 TD, 12 INT, 1 rush TD Who would have thought that Peyton would be the best bargain in fantasy? Long considered the most reliable quarterback, Manning is now the third-best QB behind Brees and Brady and would be a steal if Continue Reading

News’ Fantasy Football Friday: Who to start and who to avoid in NFL’s Week 6

For the past two weeks, my feature start suggestions have been based on guys who had a lot to prove and an enormous stage to do it on. And in both cases, Brett Favre and Braylon Edwards shined on Monday Night. In Favre's case, he got his revenge against the Packers. And in Edwards' case, he had a stellar Jets' debut. That brings us to this week. Few have more incentive to shine than Jeremy Shockey, who will undoubtedly be more amped than ever to play against his former team. Even though this isn't Monday Night, Shockey will be playing in the marquee game on Sunday and he has a beef with Giants' brass. According to ESPN's Wendi Nix, Shockey is predicting "his best game of the season" on Sunday. Like the Favre game two weeks ago, this has the potential to be boom or bust. But I'm leaning toward head coach and former Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton finding a way to get Shockey the ball and making sure his emotional tight end keeps that deafening Superdome crowd buzzing. While the Giants' defense has been tremendous this season, it surrendered four receptions for 69 yards to Oakland tight end Zach Miller last week. On the season, the Giants, who are without safety Kenny Phillips and linebacker Michael Boley, have given up three touchdowns to tight ends. Tight ends are averaging five receptions for 52 yards against the Giants this season. Let's see how emotion does for us for the third straight week. Here are other suggestions for Week 6. As always, I'm not going to tell you to start the obvious guys like Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson since you should ride your horses every week. And this week, I'm naming the Start, Monitor and Avoid categories for Fantasy Football Friday after some of my favorite Old School Hip-Hop and R&B songs by Guy, Notorious B.I.G. and Public Enemy. "I LIKE" (START): QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs CLE) - In his last two games, Big Ben has passed for a total of five touchdowns. Roethlisberger didn't pass much in Continue Reading

Fantasy Football Friday: Who to start and who to avoid in NFL’s Week 11

It took 10 weeks for the Jets to finally make Rex Ryan cry. We always knew Rex was a "baller" with his trash-talking skills but we never knew he was a "bawler." Clearly, the Jets head coach has never played fantasy football, a sport that can reduce grown men to tears weekly. Ryan's crying episode got us thinking about this season's most frustrating fantasy players who have made their owners want to cry uncontrollably like a teen-aged girl at the opening of the next "Twilight" installment. So we are pulling a Mark Sanchez, who called an audible by opening his postgame press conference by reading a statement, and changing things up a bit this week. We are going to call this week's Fantasy Friday start-and-sit column the "Crying Game" edition. Instead of writing about our suggested feature start, we are offering some of our most frustrating fantasy busts this season and some of these players are guys you might want to stay away from this week as well. RB Matt Forte, CHI: Considering this guy was touted as pretty much the second running back to be taken behind Adrian Peterson, Forte hasn't produced anywhere near a first-rounder let alone the number two overall pick in many leagues. In many cases, he was taken ahead of guys like Maurice Jones-Drew and Forte has a total of three touchdowns and one 100-yard game rushing this season. Since our motto is to ride your horses (first and second-round picks) we don't think you should bench Forte unless you have a better alternative. He might score a touchdown this week against an Eagles defense that has allowed a total of four touchdowns to opposing running backs in their last three games. QB Jay Cutler, CHI: He's shown some flashes but 12 interceptions versus six touchdowns in his last five games is hard to stomach. The Eagles' pass defense has been pretty solid this season. He's a very risky start even at home. QB Matt Cassel, KC: If you have any Kansas City players it's likely been a rough season for you (Dwayne Continue Reading

Fantasy Football Friday: Who to start and who to avoid in NFL’s Week 15

It's the most important time of the year with the fantasy playoffs either starting this week or into the second round. Unless you have one of those cruise-control lineups that sets itself and consists of players you know are must-starts for you every week - these lineups only come every so often - this week might be excruciating with so much on the line. It's easy to fall in love with marquee fantasy names at this time of the year and go with the big-named player or the guy you spent a high draft pick on. But sometimes, there are fantasy surprises, guys who were no-names just weeks ago and now may suddenly be the key to your fantasy championship. This week's Fantasy Football Friday featured start suggestion is a guy people knew little about at the start of the season - Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles. Since Larry Johnson was banished from Kansas City, Charles has been one of the best fantasy finds of the season. Last week if you had Charles, you likely won a critical game. He ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and had seven receptions on top of that. Now he gets a Browns' defense that ranks 29th in the league against the run and actually is the second most giving fantasy defense against the run. Jamaal has been Charles in charge, a must-start, especially when the matchup is right. He has scored a touchdown either on the ground or through the air in five straight games. It's a good bet he'll make that six straight this week. So don't be afraid to bench that big-name player who either has a bad matchup or has been frustrating for a player like Charles, who likely wasn't drafted in your league but could very well take you to the promise land. Sometimes winning a title takes some risk. As usual, we are not going to tell you to start the obvious starts like Kurt Warner vs. Detroit or Andre Johnson against St. Louis. But here are some suggestions that may help you make some tougher decisions easier. And in honor of our featured start - "Charles in Continue Reading

News’ Fantasy Football Friday: Who to start and who to avoid in NFL’s Week 3

Last Sunday we felt a bit like poor Darren Sproles, who got stuffed by Ray Lewis on a game-ending fourth-and-two tackle behind the line of scrimmage. As is the fantasy football way, we did well in our picks in Week 1 only to get humbled in Week 2. We were wrong on sitting Matt Schaub and Cedric Benson and starting Santana Moss (he better play well this week against Detroit) and our sleeper never woke up (Earl Bennett). But Brett Favre, Joe Flacco and Fred Jackson did nice for us. This week we are resolute in having a Schaub bounce-back week. So let's get to this week's picks and as always, we'll stay away from advising to start Drew Brees and all other fantasy studs since you are going to start them regardless. START: QB Trent Edwards, BUF (vs N.O.) - The Saints' offense puts up huge points which means opponents are always playing catch-up. Philadelphia's backup Kevin Kolb passed for 391 yards and two touchdowns last week trying to keep up with Drew Brees. He also threw three interceptions ... but the point is, Edwards will have to air it out to keep the Bills close. After an awful preseason, Edwards has been solid, passing for two touchdowns and 200-plus yards in each of his first two games. The Saints' defense is also ranked 29th against the pass even though it has six interceptions. QB Tony Romo, DAL (vs CAR) - This is more a gut feeling than anything else. After throwing three picks against the Giants on Sunday night, Romo is dying to redeem himself. It would be hard not to see him bounce back on Monday Night against Carolina, which surrendered three touchdowns to Matt Ryan last week and two touchdowns to Donovan McNabb the week before. If he struggles for a second straight nationally-televised night game at Jerry Jones' Taj Mahal, perhaps he needs to start dating Jessica Simpson again. RBs Willis McGahee and Ray Rice, BAL (vs CLE) - McGahee is on a TD tear with four already this season. And now the Ravens face Eric Mangini's soft run defense Continue Reading

Fantasy Football Friday: (New York, New York Edition) Who to start and who to avoid in NFL’s Week 14

It's a pivotal weekend for the Giants and Jets as their playoff hopes hang in the balance. With many fantasy leagues starting their playoffs this week or next week, this also is a critical week for fantasy owners. Typically we like to talk about who to start and avoid amongst Giants and Jets in our "New York, New York" section of Fantasy Football Friday. But this week, we're giving you a "New York, New York" edition of Fantasy Friday by focusing on Jets and Giants in our featured start section. Here is who you should ride and stay away from in this week's New York games. START - Jets RB Thomas Jones (at TB): No Mark Sanchez will mean more and more of Jones and the best rushing attack in the league against the league's second-worst rushing defense. - Giants WR Steve Smith (vs PHI): Smitty is a must-start, especially in point-per-catch leagues. He's gotten you this far, stick with the Giants' best receiver even if this is a tough matchup. - Giants TE Kevin Boss (vs PHI): The Eagles are the worst fantasy defense against tight ends this season. Opposing tight ends have caught seven or more balls in four of the last five games against Philadelphia. - Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery (at TB): Kellen Clemens may not pass that much. But when he does, we're guessing that he's going to throw to Cotchery since the two have played together before. - Jets TE Dustin Keller (at TB): Clemens could be checking down a lot to Keller when he has to throw. - Jets DEF (at TB): The Jets defense is ranked second in the NFL and now get a rookie quarterback. Josh Freeman typically is better at home but he threw five picks last week. The Jets need a pick-six this week and so does your fantasy team. AVOID - Giants QB Eli Manning (vs PHI): The Eagles are a tough defense for quarterbacks. They have four interceptions in the past two games and no more than 235 yards passing to opposing QBs in the past four games. - Jets QB Kellen Clemens (at TB): You'd have to be Continue Reading

Fantasy Football Tuesday: How to react to the headlines around the NFL

A different way of going about it for this week's edition of Fantasy Football Tuesday, as we take a spin around the league's relevant headlines and figure out how to react, especially key this week with a lot of quarterback upheaval and some big injuries:Jets RB Leon Washington out for the season: It's bad news for the Jets, who lose a multitalented threat, but it does open the door for rookie Shonn Greene to see more action after running for 144 yards and two touchdowns in Oakland. Brad Smith also should be a bigger factor in the Jets' offense now.Browns stick with Derek Anderson as starting QB: How could Brady Quinn possibly be worse than a guy who, over the last three weeks, is 23-for-70 for 244 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions? Anderson's completion percentage has actually gone up each week during that stretch of stench, but he still connected on less than half his attempts in the Browns' 31-3 debacle against the Packers. Avoid anyone on the Cleveland roster unless you're in a keeper league and trying to wrap up the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.Alex Smith takes over for Shaun Hill as 49ers' starting QB: The former No. 1 pick looked pretty good in what started out as garbage time against the Texans, nearly rallying the 49ers to a miraculous comeback. But his first start will be against the Colts, who have the seventh-ranked pass defense in the NFL. Stay away from Smith for now.Chiefs RB Larry Johnson rips coach Todd Haley on Twitter, reportedly makes gay slurs: Since the start of the 2007 season, Johnson now has two more rushing yards than he had in 2006 alone, and he's averaging 2.7 yards per carry this season without scoring a touchdown. It's a couple of weeks until he hits the magical age of 30 when running backs traditionally start to go downhill, but it might be wise to beat the rush and cut Johnson now - the Chiefs are losing plenty with him, they can certainly lose plenty without him, and this news isn't going to help his case to try to Continue Reading

Fantasy football: Week 9 starters, benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Drew Brees and Leonard Fournette, or to bench Tom Savage and Kamar Aiken? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 9 of the 2017 season.Watch ‘em rollDerek Carr, QB, Raiders at Dolphins: When you make the Ravens passing attack look imposing, you know you’ve got issues. That’s what Carr and his receivers will face on Sunday night. As long as Amari Cooper shows up, Carr should have another big-time outing.Mark Ingram, RB, Saints vs. Buccaneers: Ingram has something to prove after losing two fumbles last weekend. Though Alvin Kamara has been very productive, Ingram is still getting the majority of the rushing touches and remains plenty active as a receiver. The Bucs have been generous to opposing rushers lately, especially in the red zone, where Ingram excels.Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers vs. Falcons: If ever Carolina needed its first-round pick to produce, this is the time. Cam Newton will be looking the rookie’s way frequently, given the dearth of talent in his depleted receiving corps. Don’t expect much ground yardage, but McCaffrey should produce nicely as a receiver.Golden Tate, WR, Lions at Packers: Despite most signs pointing to him sitting out last week’s contest with a shoulder injury, Tate played – and led the Lions in receptions. He’ll continue on that track in a healthier state this weekend as Detroit continues to lean heavily on Matt Stafford’s arm. Green Bay’s depleted secondary is vulnerable.Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs at Cowboys: Hill is coming off his worst game of the season against Denver, but don’t hold that against him. The big-play receiver will have plenty of opportunities to shred a secondary that has coughed up the third-most touchdowns to opposing wideouts this season.More thumbs Continue Reading

Fantasy football deep sleepers: Will opportunity knock for Orleans Darkwa?

We’re getting close to crunch time in the fantasy football season. Six more teams are on a bye this week, but only two or three of those teams have bonafide starting fantasy quarterbacks. Of course, all other skill positions will be greatly affected.Here are some deep sleepers for Week 9 from Ourlads.com RB Orleans Darkwa, New York GiantsDarkwa is home Sunday vs. the Rams, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs and rank 25th in the league defending the run. Darkwa has run hard all season and has produced when given the opportunity, which has really only been once (in Denver, 117 yards on a season-high 21 carries). With Eli Manning struggling and his weapons severely limited, the Giants’ obvious advantage this week lies with their running game. RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee TitansHenry has been a disappointment to most of his fantasy owners this season, primarily because we are all aware of the immense talent he possesses. However, he has showed positive signs the last two weeks, averaging 16 carries, including a 131-yard performance vs. Indianapolis. He followed that with a subpar game against the Browns’ sixth-ranked run defense, but this week’s test should be a bit easier against Baltimore’s 30th-ranked run defense. WR DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay BuccaneersJackson has been inconsistent this season, but has been targeted eight times in each of the last two weeks. It is just a matter of time before Jameis Winston puts a good game together and includes Jackson in the fun. New Orleans would seem like a good opportunity for the Bucs offense to turn things around. The Saints defense has been solid but not great and Sunday’s game figures to be a shootout. QB Jared Goff, Los Angeles RamsGoff has been solid, but not consistently startable in most fantasy leagues. He hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 4 at Dallas. Expect that to change this week vs. the Giants, Continue Reading

Fantasy football start/sit: Doug Martin carrying the load for Buccaneers

 Every week, our friends at Bruno Boys Fantasy Football take a look at every NFL game on the slate and offer up their recommendations of players to start or sit, based on that week's matchups.(Some picks may not agree with — or may run counter to — the rankings and other opinions expressed elsewhere on this site. As always, fantasy owners are encouraged to absorb as much information as possible to make an informed decision for their teams.)Fantasy rankings: How the players stack up at each position in Week 9Bills QB Tyrod Taylor. The dual-threat quarterback continues to play mistake-free football. Taylor finished with two touchdowns in a rout over the Oakland Raiders in Week 8, and the Jets have allowed 17 touchdown passes and they give up 20 rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Texans WR Will Fuller V. The speedster has three games with two touchdowns and is averaging 21.46 yards per catch. The Colts secondary has allowed an NFL-high 51 receptions of at least 20 yards.Jaguars defense/special teams. They have 33 sacks and 16 takeaways in seven games. The Bengals offense has given up 22 sacks on the season and turned the football over 10 times. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin. Martin has been productive since serving a three-game suspension to start the season. The every-down running back has 70 touches over four games and should be a key cog in Tampa Bay’s Week 9 game plan. Rams WR Robert Woods. Woods has at least five receptions in four of his last five games (including three in a row). Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey. The rookie is arguably the NFL’s best pass catcher out of the backfield and is averaging over six receptions per game. The Falcons allow 6.85 receptions per game to the running back position, and this game is setup for McCaffrey to break out.Eagles TE Zach Ertz. The veteran has scored in four consecutive games and is quarterback Carson Wentz’s most reliable target. While Continue Reading